Monday, December 27, 2010

the nameless

there was a voice from the dark. but never did imagined that it could be the most heartwarming thing i would received this year.

it was already 7:40pm when we landed manila. upon entering the arrival, i instantly turned on my phone and received a message from the other team saying that their flight was cancelled due to bad weather. i was surprised to read it considering that our flight was just an hour ahead of them and the trip was relatively okay. but unfortunately, they were forced to take a 12 hour bus trip going back here just to catch christmas.

our service took us directly to the office to unload some equipment we brought for our trip, when suddenly i noticed the box of christmas gifts for our kris kringle. i immediately looked and dug for mine and in my surprise, saw three gifts under my codename. but what really caught my attention was two of the gifts that were placed inside a transparent plastic bag: they were DOLLS!

what am i supposed to do with these? i asked myself.

frustration immediately rushed to my head and felt really bad about the idea.

first, i am not really fond of dolls. second, the rule of the exchange gift was to give something that is applicable to both men and women since codenames were used. third, the dolls are not even barbie or made out of clean and hard material. they resemble a lot to those cheap dolls being sold in the public market. and lastly, the gift contains not only one but two annoyingly looking dolls.

what a waste of money, i thought.

but after a while, i realized that instead of ranting, i should still be grateful for the very thought and effort. i guess, i was just really tired that night.

so i went out and decided to take a bus on my way home to call it a week.

if only i knew that that night was actually the start of the christmas rush i should have just took a cab.

you see, it takes me atleast an hour and half to go to work from my place. but it takes one more hour whenever i go back home. but that night was just crazy. the traffic jam was beyond words. all i could hear was my mouth cursing and my thoughts backing up acting as a chorale.

three hours after, we found ourselves approaching farmers, cubao, at last, when suddenly, the bus turned left and went straight to cubao ilalim. and i was, SHUT UP!!! this bus was supposed to be IBABAW!

sorry but we could no longer afford a traffic like that. you could just probably go down at five star terminal, the conductor excused.

it was definitely one hell of a night.

but instead of taking the advise, i decided to go down kamias and just take a cab from there going to katipunan.

when i thought i just had all the nastiest misfortunes i could possibly have that night, i then realized that i was already stupidly waiving almost every car passing, regardless if its a cab or not, for more than 45 minutes. i already felt that i am on the verge of screaming, asking fate what was that all about. when suddenly, a slipper softly hit my foot.

i looked for its source and then saw a kid. a young boy standing on a crutch and missing his left leg. he swiftly approached me, kicked the slipper away and continued kicking it.

he never lay a glimpse at me. he just continued kicking it from one side to the other, completing a laps he probably call his game. then i noticed him stopped under a dark waiting shed. an image of a wooden cart, about to give up; a mother lying down, surrendering from tiredness and bearing the cold and dusty street floor; and a younger sister enjoying her innocence appeared from the dark.

the image of them made me thought of their own picture of christmas, an unconventional one. or probably, just simply different from what i call mine. when all this time, i always think of christmas as a time full of warm lights, a festivity of bountiful dinner served on a nice wooden table and everyone smiling and happily passing each plate to one another, there they were just trying to survive.

one side of me is asking, how can someone still possibly find the place to make children? what were they thinking? if they can barely have something to feed themselves, why did they still opt in pulling out another and adding it up to their burden? perhaps, everyone has the right to build their own family to at least feel that sense of belonginess and essence of living regardless of class. but don't you think more than one for their condition is just too much and unfair?

but of course that is just one part of me saying.

knowing myself, my thoughts and efforts would always fall and cater to them. though sometimes, there are just those days when i ask myself, are my thoughts and efforts enough? are the efforts of those considered fortunate enough? if the ones they cater keep on refusing cooperation? or perhaps life indeed has his own ways from which man's mind will always fall short to comprehend. but i guess regardless of the answer we will always find life worth living for either from us or from them.

then i slowly approach the younger sister probably barely on her year, i pulled it out from my bag and hand it over to her. it was the doll that i received from the office.

probably by instinct, she just reached it; thinking it was food or money. when she finally realized what it was, she smiled, looked at me and immediately turned her back and went to her lying mother. the older brother then approached them, also curious what it was.

upon realizing what it was for her sister, they all smiled. the brother finally looked at me and said, "salamat po."

never did imagined it could be the most heartwarming thing i would ever received this year and all i could say was:

"merry christmas!"
then i turned my back at them, saw a vacant taxi approaching. waived at it, told the driver where i am heading and went in. as we were fast moving away from them, i looked at them one more time. then pulled out the other doll and looked at it. then thought that i finally had use of this gift: a reminder of all the realizations i had that night---and of the family, who will be spending a different christmas from mine.

Monday, December 20, 2010


i'm 25...

and i recognize the fact that i am at that point of my life, where i thought puberty had already passed just to wake up one day, being swept away by a larger hormonal tide.

i remember what T once told me over those rare coffee table moments that we are beginning to lose lately,

"there will always be those times when you will just realize that your urges will be stronger than your rationals and morals; and there will no other way but to give in. for the smarter you are, the stronger your urge will be."

in a way, his words struck me and from that point, i am always reminded with it every time i go elsewhere.

there will be those nights when the heed needs a response and all i can do is just surrender.
like any first, the fear and anticipation drive anyone insane. not to mention those inner ghosts that would annoyingly nag and constantly remind you. but i guess, there is indeed no clear answer for anyone who only lives among the mirage of his assumptions.

but i never thought, twitter-pat could also be that treacherous.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

two things i relaized today...


last night i dreamed of you--- again

then i suddenly realized that

you will always be the memory

that i will perpetually fall in love with...

until the day the apparition of the prophecy

stands in front of me.


then when breakfast came,

the playful life served me
what it called,

the true love breakfast

you know why?

kasi kahit sabihin ng itlog na

maliit ang longganisa,

sasabihin pa rin ng longganisa

na you complete me,

'di ba?


Monday, December 6, 2010

a time traveler's letter

dear jeff,

honestly, i really dont know how to start this for i am not fond of writing letters like you do. for i know its rare for someone to send you a letter too. not to mention the fact, that this maybe the weirdest letter you will ever received to date.

i know that by this time, you are wondering who i am? how did this letter get to you or how did i know these things?

but as crazy as it may sound, i want you to know that i am YOU--- 11 years from the time you are reading this. in short, im writing you (myself) from the future. but before you go ballistic and hysterical or think that this maybe one of those crazy prick your classmates usually throw at you, i want you to hear me out first.

i know that you are going through a very difficult time right now. i know its difficult because you always keep it by yourself. you always tend to handle it by your own. but i want you to realize that its normal. thats what teacher sandy in your grade 5, T.H.E. class is telling you about--- puberty. you should have listen more to her rather than thinking of what cartoon character you're gonna draw that day.

puberty is tough. its like a snake shedding its skin for the first time. confused and anxious. always thinking of what s/he will become just to realize that at the end of the day s/he is just the same. s/he just grew bigger and wiser in order to survive another day.

i know you have good friends who are always there for you. so never hesitate to open up to them. if in case, anything change and they started moving away, just brush it off. for i am telling you, you will meet more acceptable friends along the way, the ones that will always be there for you through thick and thin.

do not also try to think about things too much. its not that i am telling you to completely shut your system down and move purely by your instincts. you just have to loosen up a little. everyone is entitled to commit mistakes because its on those mistakes that you become a better person. you might have probably be wondering now, what you will be reading after these, but its beyond the point.

you will do a number of stupid things on the days ahead. but by knowing this, never try to stop yourself. i want you to enjoy its superficial and temporary happiness then linger on what it seems to be its endless pain afterwards. i want you to experience all of these for i want you to know that i never regretted a single stupid thing that you have done and will do. because it is on those acts that i became stronger and wiser.

do not let yourself be defined by just one big incident. i want you to remember that despite life being one big incident, its still composed of small (good and bad) incidences and it will always up to you on what small incidences you want to fill it in.

hhmmm.. by this time i know you are already convinced and knowing you, you have probably just skimmed all the things that i've said above and just immediately jump into something about love, right?! hahaha!

im not gonna say that im committed as of the moment because that will be lying. and what is the sense of writing you from the future if i going to lie. but you don't have to worry, you will be fine. you will have a relatively deeper sense of love out from the relationships you will have, which some may neither understand nor appreciate. but this will equip you for your journey to finding that true love. fine! i admit you'll also gonna be a mushy lad in denial. probably because of some friends you'll gonna meet that i think it will be best not mentioning.
you see. its a big crazy world out here, my self. you have no idea. so do not rush, take your time. life may be full of uncertainty but remember that its on those uncertainties that will keep you going-- that will make you strive more. so whenever there will be days that you feel empty and lonely, just sketch what you feel and always remind yourself with these things i told you.

and NO! i am not gonna say how many partners you'll have. you have to find it out by yourself. hahahaha!

sex is not the only thing that you should look forward to when you reach your legal age. besides, you will lose your virginity even before you hit 18. alright, i think im saying too much now.

im sorry for being straight forward but i bet you will also be surprised on how i manage to get here--- being me now. and don't worry about your morals. there are still intact. im taking good care of it, at least from the last time i checked. but just in case, if this letter somehow moved you, please, remind yourself that your "future you," was also a bit late in accepting the fact, that he also has to loosen up and realize that setting his pride aside can also do him good sometimes. and that he should also realize that he should stop fighting himself; that somewhere in one's life, regardless how wise one claims to be, his/her libido will always be smarter in overcoming his/her rational. its just a matter of how you own such responsibility.

nonetheless, please remember that regardless how depressing life maybe, sometimes, never chase for happiness. try lessening your expectations. so you will never get frustrated. try embracing contentment but always challenge yourself with everything that you do. life is so short for regrets and depression. just enjoy riding the tide but at the same time, be wise in deciding where to start and stop. never limit yourself and always keep an open mind. try to talk more especially to those whose voice are unheard because its in their life stories where the real gems are.
4 years from today, you will be opening up a blog. yes, a blog. an online journal, where you will try to collate all your thoughts in english. do i have to repeat that again? hahaha!

so do not be scared on venturing to another skill other than sketching. you will learn a lot of things there and know a number of friends that will mold the person who is telling you all of these right now.

your future self,


*right! somewhere after graduating highschool you will then decide to live with your second name as a sign of a fresh start. again, best of luck!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

before 2010 ends...

last year, i have decided to come up with a list of things i wanted to do before 2009 ends. and now, lo and behold, its already december 2010 and i still haven't crossed them all out.

so before i come up with another set for next year, here are some that im catching up in my life list.

go back to the gym (april 2010)
i did my best but i guess my best wasn't good enough.
yun na lang masasabi ko! nyahaha!

make or star a shortfilm (march 2010)
in one of my former film classes,
we were required to mount a short film/mtv
with the use of montage.
unfortunately, hindi pwede ipost dito as requested by the talent. hulaan niyo na lang kung bakit... yung sex scene namin, given na yun! joke! HAHAHAHAHA!
create a love potion- my own alcohol mix (june 2010)
go figure kung ano ang name... hehehe!
fill a jar of coins and give it to charity (july 2010)
been trying to save up some spare coins from the alms that i am getting.
there were times when i'm tempted to break it open or steal some from it.
but the feeling of being generous for charity always overpowers me.
i just hope when i fill this up, it will be for the best use.

be published on a book (september 2010)
the story and concept was not mine.
but the illustrations were fruits of my own hands
and imagination.

for privacy purposes,
i will not be disclosing the title of the said book.

sagada (october 2010)
awesome food trip: must try are yogurt house and lemon pie house!!!
sumaging cave and the hanging coffins
beach (september 2010) : Costa Bella Resort, Cebu
it was not exactly the way it looked from the internet and its pretty way out from my budget. not to mention, its not also friendly for someone who does not drive. but the feeling of just dipping in cold sea water and the relaxing cool sea breeze makes all the trouble worth it.

sleep all day (november 2010)
never fond of sleeping really.
always feel like there so many things pass by when you are asleep
but that day i made an exception.
brewed happy thoughts and continued it in my dreams.

dinner with the first (november 2010)
last week, i received a message from an unknown number. little did i know that it was from the first, telling me first is in the country and inviting me for dinner.
we met in moa, a place i rarely go to. since the first just came from abroad, i took the initiative of thinking where to dine. i thought of my favorite dining place. but when i was about to text it, the first called and said, lets meet in yakimixx. well, the thought made me smile. never really change after all.
yihihihi! ayan, pwede na magmove on for 2011! bring it on!

life list 2009:

enchanted kingdom/ birthday party
full body spa
ocean park
isdaan gerona, tarlac

in this list:
make or star a short film
be published on a book
fill a jar of coins and give it to charity
create a love potion (my own mix of alcohol)
sleep the whole day
have dinner with my first love

carried on for 2011:

go to the zoo
lipat bahay
go back to the gym
open a savings account
bachelor's ref
out of the country trip
zero balance credit card
open a savings account
bachelor's ref
out of the country trip
buy mum washing machine, aircon and microwave
establish a stable business
have a pictorial
quit smoking
scuba diving
learn a new sport
join a rally
have an exhibit
change someone's life

Thursday, November 25, 2010


first is the dream. next, we encounter routines. then choice follows. finally, we meet our considerations.
but if our considerations overruled our choice, we end up dreaming again.
you wake up bathing with sweat.
even your eyes still half close, you instantly reached your phone; already knew where it was even if it roamed all over your bed the entire night.

you checked for some messages and missed calls. then reply to them with the least sense you could pull out from your head. the dream is still fresh. it messes itself with reality. but you wanted to remember it and don't want to forget just like the rest. hence, you held on it.

after realizing you are no longer dreaming, you get out of your bed and head to the toilet.
after you're regime, you go back to your cradle and turn the tv on.

you scan for any interesting show in a typical afternoon.
once settled, you open your laptop and check for any emails. you surf for a number of websites until your tummy pleads, that becomes your queue.
you then decide to put your slippers and hit the streets. you drag yourself in search for a place that you haven't eaten yet. but the choices are thin, especially if you are living in the same place for the last four years.
after taming your stomach, you then return back home. sadden with the realization that you have no place else to go.
while walking, you'll calculate how many hours left (like you usually do) before you go to work again. once you have determined it, you'll squeeze yourself out for something worthwhile doing. but the prize is as scarce as a diamond in a pile of broken glasses. so at the end, you find yourself forced to watch either a movie that you have already seen for the sixth time or daisy siete when worst comes to worst.
by the time you need to prepare for work, that is the moment that you'll start bargaining for another 15 minutes with yourself. chances are, if the diligent ego wins, you will have an extra 30 minutes to smoke before going to work. but if the stubborn-you wins, you'll lose another 200 php for the taxi fare.
then after a long day of work, you'll find yourself exhausted from walking and commuting towards home--- alone.
nothing in mind but to lay down on your bed and sleep until you never wake up again. until you dream the same dream again. the dream that you again, have forgoten.
you'll tell yourself that your routine seems to be endless.
contentment is probably man's missing other half. almost everybody keeps on searching for it through material wealth, bodily pleasure, emotional stability and even intellectual satisfaction. but sometimes, once it is achieved, we will then realized that it is not actually what we are looking for; that something is still missing. thus, we look again.
everybody is endlessly chasing it: without even knowing what it truly is, regardless of how uncertain the path maybe.
nonetheless, everyone will agree, that not all of us have the same form of contentment. it may vary. and for some of us, we even find our own contentment in the very routine that we are taking.

well, i just wish that i am one of them, that i could learn how to live and love my routine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


it was so surreal.

never did i imagine myself getting caught in the same scene.

as C pulled up the blanket and curled to slumber. i stood up, pulled a stick and rest my back on the headboard. funny how the cigarette fume restores one's rationality and pulls back a raging tide of realization. and just like lying on the shore, its drowning once it hits you. then you're awaken, questioning every inch and angle of what you have done. until you finally start questioning even yourself. making you promise. although you know, deep down in you, that you are just making yourself to believe.

its just tough to decipher what is reality from fantasy now, especially if your clouted with frustrations and depressions. and did i mention desperation too?

i guess, this is the problem if you have so much options, that we always wished when we were little, without realizing that in achieving so we always tend to miss the best among the crop. by best meaning, the one you genuinely wanted. but who said, contentment is easy to find? isn't that what keep us all going?

oh, don't you just hate those dialogues you usually come up in your head? but surprisingly, i have been craving for nightmares lately. those types of dreams that wakes you up in the middle of the night with cold sweat. too heavy that leaves you paralyzed and makes you shed a tear. because it is during those rare moments that i can hear those long lost chest beats--- again.

as i felt the heat crawling close to my lips, i looked for a tray and killed another fixation. then i took a deep breathe and told myself,

" 'til the next urge."

i left the room, without turning off the light. i turned around and made a last glimpse of those silent cheeks and now, calm lips. so this is the feeling after all--- of everything being temporary.

surprisingly, it would always be our last since i really have to move on. but this time, beyond my own volition.

Friday, November 12, 2010


A was looking at him in a distance, beneath a rusty and clamoring roof.

A inspected how genuine his smile was. how innocence poured all though out his lean and well-sculptured body. how he really enjoyed dancing in the rain, as if, he was being showered by all his long lost youth.

A can't stop thinking how truly happy the man was. how rare that moment could be to anyone. how he could be the happiest man during the time; as if nothing has the right to ruin it.

then A suddenly noticed him approaching, wide smile not moving an inch. he grabbed A's wrist and gently pulled him to the drench. he swinged A around, not minding the possibility that someone might see them. he wanted A to share the same happiness he was experiencing.

A smiled.

then the movement stopped. He slowly went close and kissed A. everything melted. then he gave A the tightest hug, whispering behind A's ear, saying how happy he was.

A smiled again.

while inside his warm embrace, A then remembered why Charlie Chaplin loved the rain; for it is the only time people won't notice him crying.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the eighth brew

funny how things are going with me so far.

reading my entries several months ago, made me realized how much i have been ranting with how unfulfilling life had been going--- work wise. how monotous it had became that it already became a stagnant routine, almost draining all the life energy in me, making me almost surrendering with such hopelessness.

now, i find myself sitting on an empty hotel bench, infront of a beautiful pool with a turned on jacuzzi above, while having a good smoke, my eigth cup of kalingga brew, and a laptop sitting on my lap to actually boast everything--- just kidding!though back in the metro, i am still trying to desperately ask friends to do my enrollment for it is only up within the week. but time is so rare nowadays, that i cannot afford to include such in the things that i am presently thinking. so i am letting my years of friendship to do the magic.

actually, i still cannot say that this is the best job for me. but i am trying to love it--- enjoying it! besides, its not really common nowadays, to have profession that travels a lot, meeting new faces, hearing different stories and experiencing a totally different breathe.

(huwag lang tayo pupunta sa usapin ng lovelife dahil nanununtok na ako lately sa usaping yan! hahahaha!)

it was our last night in baguio. friends were texting for a meet up, for catch ups. but unfortunately, the demand to prepare for our next trip was that heavy that i have to sacrifice some invitations. it was infact, depressing not to meet friends that you haven't seen for a while--- dear and close friends for that matter.

i guess, baguio already had placed itself within me that it is already hard to set it aside. memories, regardless how minute and embarassing they maybe, constantly haunt and remind you how life slowly molds you to an entirely different individual; whether you like it or not . well, i guess, change is indeed inevitable, never easy and we just have to suck it up--- hopefully, for the better.

the following morning, i woke up by a call in my phone. i sluggishly reached and answered it.

"sir, si malou po ito. nandito na po kami ng driver. san po namin kayo pupuntahan?"

i just told them to meet us in the mezzanine for breakfast. then i asked my partner to use the bathroom and prepare first, while i hurriedly pack my things. after packing, i approached our room window and made a last glimpse to the metro and its rare vacated morning.

then i silently whispered, "someday... someday."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ang tunay na wanderer...

... hindi takot suungin ang mga one lane rough road,
no barrier beside the cliff,

na may countless landslide
over foggy weather na national road!

*i miss writing. kahit kailan napakahirap kalaban ng oras!

*the following are actual photos.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

child play: masbate, dangerously beautiful

i looked at my ticket again and read 5:15 AM.

it was already 3:45 AM,and without any sleep, i have decided to go straight to the domestic airport from tomas morato, after having countless bottles of beer (again) with my bedan blockmates. i have been officially baptized as the "ultimate kaladkarin" of the group

i flipped the next page and read another name printed on it. my supervisor instructed me to wait for this guy at the airport and he will introduce himself there.

when i arrived it was already 4:10 AM, and no familiar face was on sight. i tried to contact him and a man with a deep voice answered the phone, apologizing tremendously for being late.

he arrived right after the last call. i already failed to profile him for we immediately rushed towards the check in counter. the clerk told us that we were just in time, the gate was about to be closed. we only had the chance to talk when we were boarding, he introduced himself as M. he also works for the same company as i am but in a different department. he also seldom goes to the office, no wonder he is not familiar.

it actually took me a while before i was able to ask him what will his role be in our current task. he smiled and looked at me.

"i will be your BG," he answered.

i caught myself really surprised. it was actually the first time that i will have my own BG, at least for this project.

he explained that the area is relatively risky for someone like me. though i know how to speak the language, it is still not enough to handle unexpected situations. right that very moment, i already thought of enrolling myself in a martial art class.

we arrived in masbate at exactly 6:30 in the morning. we went straight to the hotel we are staying, reviewed my itinerary and proceeded with all the necessary retrievals required.

masbate is a province in between the island of luzon and visayas. but it doesn't have any hints that it is detached from the main land luzon for almost all familiar establishments are present there. it almost reminded me of my dad's hometown, sorsogon, that also made me realize that my ancestors are actually rooted in the island of ticao, another island of the territory of masbate.

i called my dad and informed him that im in masbate. but i never thought that ill be more surprised than him. for the first time, he was really concerned. for the place has a reputation (whatever that means).

then M told me that aside from its beautiful beaches, masbate is quite famous for its insurgencies and numerous ambush attacks. but i was never bothered since our intentions were not something political and besides, the conotation for the leftist groups has never been an issue with me. i know these are just one of those black propagandas.

we went to the centro to take a ride going to our area. there, we were given an option to either take the tricycle or habal-habal, (a trip, where 3-5 people are forced to fit on a single motorcyle). of course, i took the tricycle ride for i know it will be bumpy and dusty; and with the equipment i am carrying, falling from a moving vehicle down to a rocky road is the least thing i want to happen.

on our way to the area, i saw a number of passing habal-habal, that made me realize that it is really the most popular and cheap mode of transportation in the area. it costs around Php10 per person while the tricycle can soar 'til Php50, but what really got my attention were the mini buses.

its your typical provincial mini buses, where most passengers are outside the vehicle. there are even kids on top of each. actually, i was a bit intrigued with them. for aside from being only around 8-12 years old, without any adult supervision, each of them were also holding long and dark pellet gun and shot guns. cut soda bottles, attached with a piece of string, wrapped around their heads, covering their faces. their movements could tell me that they were aggresively and anxiously waiting for something or someone.

then i noticed another set of kids that were standing along the bumpy and dusty road, also holding pellet guns. in an instant, they were swiftly clicking their guns and firing at each other. a good ten shots flew at both parties. when the mini bus made a good distance, each party posed a series of aggresive poses, insulting each other, as of resembling to the cracking dance.and the same scene continued as we drove along.

but what made it more surprising, was that no adult riding the bus, reacted nor opposed of what happened. it was as if nothing really happened. and during my entire stay, as i go back and forth to the area, the exact scene repeated over and over again.

somehow, it made me remember the film, cicade de dios or city god.

then i realized, if this is the kind of child play, someone has been exposed to while growing up, no wonder the place has already enveloped a negative reputation.

in such setting, ambush or any violent attack, regardless of how irrelevant they maybe, will eventually be deemed legitimate or ordinary by such society.

ironically that night, we attended a town fiesta activity, i clearly remembered one of the lines the provincial education superintended said in his speech. he describes masbate as dangerously beautiful.

please be reminded that i do not intend to write this entry to throw bad words against the province. i just want to point out an event that seems to be invisible to the locals. i am not questioning any morals nor traditions. perhaps, i am just trying to send an inquiry across, expecting an opinion back.

another surprising scene in the province were the kalboys.

or kalyeng baboys (akala niyo ha?!).

unlike the domesticated pigs i used to see from the places i have been. the kalboys in masbate are free to wander around the perimeter of its owner. it runs with the dogs, whenever their master call and feed them. they chase each other and sniff things new to them.

i can just imagine how manila or other nearby provinces will look like if such treatment to pigs is enacted. vegans will definitely rule!

relatively, there is no night life in masbate. so i decided to just stay in my hotel and think of anything else to do. but i failed. the day was so boring for me, that it lived with the province name, literally. hahaha! kiddin!

paano pa kaya sa trip ko sa panay??? hahaha!
after masbate, we rode a fast craft going to sorsogon then legazpi city!

despite numerous times, i have seen mayon, it still never fails to awe me. its even more breathtaking if you'll look at it above.

nung highschool ako at wala pang jolibee sa aming baryo, sikat ka na kapag kumakain ka dito--- sa quick n' hearty. hahaha!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

wish stick

tonight, as the harsh cool night breeze escapes to my window, i find myself staring at my monitor screen again. reading my thesis, which is a week pass its deadline, for the hundredth time. and all i could do, was just to patiently wait for the right words to come.

i decided to take a break for the warning of an upcoming headache is at sight. i took a box out from my resting bag, opened it up and saw a couple of cigarette sticks. my brain already developed dependence to the dizziness a puff brings. i wonder, until where it can bring me tonight.
behind my cabinet were piles of fresh clothes neatly stacked and just like me, they too, were also waiting.

i lit my first cigarette and took a deep sip. but for some reasons, flashbacks instantly flew like pages of the already staled book in front of me.

i remembered the very first stick i had almost a decade ago. it was the sweetest stick i ever had, no wonder i still could not drop the vice until now. or perhaps, it was more than that.

perhaps its the search of having the same experience again. the thrill and excitement of not getting caught and called a newbie; pressured by new peers in an entirely different place. trying to be cool, pretending i am not.

unfortunately, when i was already in the group, it was already too late. i was completely caught tangled with it. i just hate when i am not in control, especially of something that pertain to myself. i guess there is no longer any way now, but to claim it. nonetheless, i am still hopeful that someday i will surpass this--- that i will totally overcome this addiction.

when i felt the heat crawling near my lips, i forcefully smashed the dying flame on the ash tray as if holding the very stick responsible for me, losing my own control. but then i took the box again and saw my last. i laughed at myself, realizing it was actually a wish stick. i laughed because of the realization that i am almost a decade smoker but i am still doing the same routine: still believing that i am entitled with something before finishing a pack.

honestly, i already lost count of how many wish sticks i had and how many wishes i had said. but if there is something that i am certain about, it is the fact that i have been saying the same wish for myself (other than whats for my parents and close friends) over and over again.
a couple of years back, i used to ask my friends or someone i knew, how it feels like to be 25? what did they do during that time? or what they should have done during that age?

but for some reason they would always give me that strange look and awkward answer. basically, they would always say its irrelevant and insignificant to who they are now, that its just the same, nothing really special.

but i remained unsatisfied with their answers. probably because, i just couldn't stop myself from escaping the realization that i am already nearing that corner of my life; that i am always in competition with time; and that i would be stuck with my own uncertainties and unfulfillable decisions of staying in a profession that i really do not like nor imagined myself for the rest of my life.

at the age of 23, i was already torturing myself with these kinds of life dilemmas. instead of enjoying things as they come and go, like i would always tell myself, i tend to wonder with the things that are miles ahead of me, otherwise. i guess, thats what the film boy culture meant, its difficult to live this kind of life for you think like you are already 40 even though you are just 14. but how can you blame them or me, if fear, in its full bloom, is (still) lurking around our presence.

last july, i just turned 25, still unemployed but blessed with a supportive family and circles of friends, ever understanding and supportive. nonetheless, i knew that it was still not enough. thus, i was then determined to take the risk, to change and make this something special. so without even thinking, i signed a job offer that is way more than what i used to earn despite my pending debts, due bills and even my rent.

suddenly my phone rang again. i answered it and heard a familiar voice.

"prepare your things. we have already booked you a flight. you are going to bicol." then the line dropped.

in an instant, i opened my email, printed my ticket and copies of my tasks. closed my laptop, approached the neatly stacks of fresh clothes behind my closet and put them inside my sack. i went out and hailed an approaching cab. then on my way to the airport, i felt a very uncomfortable thing bulging inside my pocket. i took it out, found the same cigarette box and saw my waiting wish stick inside. for a second, i caught myself staring at it. flashbacks instantly flew again. but in my surprise, i slowly closed it, put it aside and told myself,

it had to wait. i still have to come up with a new wish.

Friday, October 15, 2010

tatlong mukha ng paglisan

“Ma, nasa loob na po ba niyan si papa?” buong inosente kong tanong kay mama habang pinagmamatiyagan ang dambuhalang balikbayan box, na linuwal na kalawanging trak.

Naalala ko noong unang beses kong itanong iyon sa kanya. Halos bumagsak ang mga bubot niyang luha sa alulod ng kanyang mga mata, nangingig ang mga nanunuyong labi at halos hindi makapagsalita. Nito ko na lamang naintindihan ang hapdi nang pinagsamang pangamba at pag-aalala.

“Hindi kasya dito si Papa,” matapang na sagot niya habang binubuo ang mga bigkas ng bawat salitang yun.

“E, kailan po siya darating?”

“Malapit na,” yun lagi ang mga katagang s(in)agot niya.

“Gaano po kalapit?” pag uusisa ko.

“Basta, malapit na.”

Utang ko marahil ang pagiging Best in Math ko noong elementarya sa pagbibilang ng mga araw kung kelan darating si papa. Patunay pa ni nanay, mas nauna ko pa daw natutunan ang pagbibilang kesa sa ABAKADA. Mas naunang naunawaan ang adisyon at substraksyon kesa sa pagbabay at grammar. Lahat yun dahil sa paghihintay.

Marahil kung susumahin, bago ako tumuntong ng kolehiyo, mas higit pa sa bilang ng edad ko, ang mga pagkakataong umuwi at nakapiling namin siya. At noong napagdesisyunan na niyang hindi bumalik sa barko, kasabay ng pagkawala ng hilig ko sa numero ang pananabik ko ding makapiling at makausap siya. Siguro kaiba sa mga prutas, hindi kailanman naging matamis ang pagkahinog ng aking paghihintay. Sa madaling salita, nangahulugan ang kawalan ng mapag-uusapan, ang madalas naming away. Nagagawa naming palakihin ang mumunting ‘di pagkaka-unawaan. Nagkamalay akong kaiba sa kanyang inaasahan. At kaiba naman siya sa mga imahe ng pangungulila ng aking kabataan.


Marahil kundi dahil sa edad namin, marahil ay perpekto na ang lahat. Hindi naging malaking isyu kundi man kami nakakalabas gaya ng iba, maging affectionate tulad ng iba. Naging masaya na kami sa kung ano ang napupuslit namin; kung ano lang ang pwedeng maging sa amin.

“Anong plano mo pagkatapos nito?”

“Pupunta ako ng Maynila. Gusto ko’ng magtuloy sa masteral. Tapos maghahanap ako ng trabahong pwedeng tumustos sa pag-aaral ko. Dyahe na din kasing humingi sa mga parents ko, e ikaw?”

Marahil kung alam ko lang kung ano ang isasagot niya noon, sana hindi ko na lang binalik sa kanya ang tanong.

“Pupunta ako sa Canada. Kukunin daw ako ng tita ko doon. Magtratrabaho para naman makatulong kanila mama at papa--- para makabawi naman kahit papaano.”

Malayo ang tingin niya habang sinasagot iyon, na para bang tanaw niya ang Canada mula sa aming kinauupuan.

“Maganda yan. Yan naman ang pangarap mo di ba, ang matulungan ang iyong pamilya.” Mahirap makipag kompetensiya sa pamilya.

Hindi ko alam kung napansin niyang binitawan ko ang pagkakahawak ko sa kamay niya. Pero magkaganun pa man, hindi ko na sinubukang bawiin ulit iyon.

Gaya nga nang sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, matagal na akong gradweyt sa paghihintay.


Noong nakaraang taon, bumalik ang matalik ko’ng kaibigan mula sa Singapore. Halos magdadalawang taon na siya duon. Bakas mo ang kanyang pananabik sa kanyang bawat pag-uwi. Subalit mas madami pa sa pasalubong niyang over-sized na damit at tsokolate ang kanyang baong mga kwento. Kwento ng pangungulila at kung papaano trinatrato ang tulad niyang Pilipino sa kanyang pinagtratrabahuhan. Kayod kalabaw ...

Subalit sa kabila ng mga ito, matuturing niyang mas mapalad pa daw siya kumpara sa iba niyang kakilala, na tinutunggali ang araw sa pagkakayod kalabaw at binuburo ang mga gabi sa pangungulila sa mga mahal sa buhay. Magkaganun pa man, para sa akin, hindi pa din nalalayo ang kanyang buhay sa kanila.

“So babalik ka pa ba?”

“Kelangan eh. Kasama na ata yun sa job description ng kontratang pinirmahan ko.”

“Kelan ba matatapos ang kontrata mo?”

“Basta, malapit na.” Nakakatuwa at nakakainis isipin na pilit akong binabalikan ng sagot na ito.

Dalawang linggo lang siya sa bansa noon. At isang araw bago siya bumalik ng Singapore, tinext niya ako. Ihatid ko daw siya sa airport pag-alis niya. Pero mas piniling kong hindi na sumagot, kaya hindi ko siya nahatid. Mas pinili ko yun dala na rin ng katotohanang,

kailanman ay hindi ako naging magaling sa pagpapaalam.

*special thanks to max

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the person i do not want to be

if there was one thing i remembered about her youth, it was her ambition.

her parents told her, she was the smartest among all the nine children they have. thus, being in a poor family of farmers, they always had high hopes for her.

she dreamt of taking up a degree in economics and pursue a career out of it. she wanted to be a career woman, save up and live a life out from a land that they can't even call their own. but its hard to live a life when you started from scratch. thus, she also pursued the (only) road most people like her takes--- an entirely different alley.

she took a vocational course and worked as a secretary in an appliance store in caloocan to save up for her dreams. but along the way, she met her employer's nephew, a young, charming seafarer with a big sense of humor. to make it short, she fell in love with him and before she knew it, she was already conceiving their first child.

so she had to set her dreams aside for the meantime and focus on the arrival of another unexpected path, being a wife and a mother.

without even getting married, they decided to move together and eventually saw the downfalls of each other. the seafarer, still in denial that he was about to become a father, began playing around. while she on the other hand, was left inside their small apartment, brewing a strong concoction of frustration and depression.

i really can't speak on her behalf about what she was going through that time. but if there was one thing i am sure of, it was very severe. so chronic that it actually cost us our supposed oldest sibling. but on the brighter side, it made my dad realized he was already a commited family man.

as time passed by, we then came. all four of us; two boys, two girls; and me being the eldest now. and life flew above my mom like a swift passing afternoon breeze. it was so fast that she even forgot about the dream she once set aside. and for her, it was already too late.


two months ago, my mom and i had a big fight over this huge favor i was desperately asking from her. she refused simply because my dad disagreed.

i forgot the last time i went that ballistic that it totally made me cry. i was so mad at her that i decided to give her the silent treatment i thought she deserved.

i began asking questions like why can't she make up a decision of her own? why does she always link her life with other people? why can't she be independent? i guess, it was the feminist in me that added the flare in my anger.

for weeks i refused to get her calls. i never replied back whenever she sent me messages asking how am i? did i already find a job and all those other motherly questions, which i live for the most part of growing up.

basically, during that time, i lived a segment of my life telling myself, kung natiis niya ako, kaya ko din siyang tiisin. that was how far i could be when i am mad.

then early this morning, i woke up a bit awkward. i felt there was something different. then i realized, she was there. my entire family went back home here in manila to spend the holidays.
as usual, there she was again, living in her own world, built on that part of our house with a knife and a crop in her hands. silent, reserved and almost frail. though i always remember her to be very eager and a bit stronger before.

it always makes me wonder whats going on inside her head. i always wonder what she feels, about choosing to fulfill other people's life other than her own. i wonder what she will rant if given the chance or if she is even capable or brave enough to give out one? did she ever regret living a life behind us?

i grew up telling myself, i don't want to be like her. i don't want to live my entire life behind the shadows of other people. i don't want to lock and stagnate myself doing household chores only and that i will never allow love to hinder me from achieving my dreams. i want to live my life to the fullest. i want to be as successful as i can be until i will be remembered.

suddenly, she turned on my direction and caught me just staring at her. i was literally dumbstruck in that moment. for the first time, i couldn't think of anything that would get me out of that awkward situation. for i still want her to believe that i am still not okay and that i am still mad at her.

but then she smiled at me. something she rarely does and that completely swept away all the grudges i have for her. then she wrapped it all up by saying, "kumain ka na? pinagluto kita ng sinigang na baboy. tinanggalan ko na din yan ng buto para hindi mo na himayin tulad ng gusto mo"

i never thought, she knew. although it was a given fact in the family that sinigang is my favorite dish (probably because, for me, my mom cooks the best sinigang like all other children will say about their mother).and compare to other kids who usually separate the fat part from the meat, i on the other hand, would never touch any meat which has bones with it and i hid this from my parents because of the fear that they will call me stubborn(again). eventually, i have outgrown this habit but never i have realized she would remember.

i guess, if theres someone who knows you better than anybody else, it would be our parents, and for me it would be her.

in that moment, as much as i want to deny it to myself and despite being taller and bigger than my mom now, i felt like a kid again.

her scent crumbles down all the knowledge and strength i have proudly acquired from my education and experiences. the touch of her warm skin as it accidentally brushed on mine, brings back memories of me crying for her name for refuge whenever i wake up in the middle of the night because of a bad dream. and her gentle voice can just conjure serenity and calmness, i kept looking for.

indeed, its really hard to talk or write something about the person you genuinely love. that is why i never wrote something about her until now.

i guess, i still don't want to be the person like her for the simple reason i can never be like her.

she is beyond any words of description that only the child in me can comprehend. perhaps, she have already fulfilled her dreams, although not the dreams she intended to be but of a better one, and that is raising us well.

and now im writing this entry to affirm her success. so that every person who will read this will know that she has been as successful as she can be and she will be remembered to be the mother of this son who once wrote that simple but victorious story of her life.

also read:
letter in the closet